By Avantika Chilkoti
Global stocks rose Friday ahead of the latest U.S. jobs report as investors await cues on whether the world's largest economy has enough momentum to weather a prolonged trade dispute with China.
Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2%, while the Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.4%. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.4%, while the Hong Kong and South Korean gauges rallied 1.1%.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect U.S. employers added jobs at a solid pace during November, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by 187,000 and the unemployment rate remaining at a historically low 3.6%. Household spending has proved to be crucial this year for U.S. economic growth, though the Federal Reserve has also cut rates three times this year to help bolster output amid rising fears of a global slowdown.
"All that's keeping it together from the U.S. perspective at the moment is the consumer," said James Athey, investment analyst at Aberdeen Asset Management. Weak employment figures would have knock-on effects for confidence and spending, he said.
Markets are likely to have an asymmetrical reaction to the jobs report, Mr. Athey said. Better-than-expected jobs figures would be unlikely to alter expectations that the Fed will keep rates on hold for the foreseeable future, but a negative surprise could turn sentiment on the strength of the economy.
U.S.-China trade talks also remain in the spotlight for markets ahead of the Dec. 15 deadline for new tariffs on consumer goods to take effect. At the end a week that has seen markets react to conflicting signals on the progress of negotiations, China's State Council on Friday began the process of exempting some soybeans and pork imported from the U.S. from punitive tariffs, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said.
Over in Europe, shares in French pharmaceuticals maker Ipsen dropped over 20% after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration put studies for one of its drug candidates on partial clinical hold for patients who are under the age of 14.
Meanwhile, U.K. markets remained volatile ahead of a general election next week. The FTSE 250 index, which is dominated by companies that have significant domestic operations, rallied 0.6% on Friday as investors speculate that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party will come out on top in the vote, reducing the uncertainty around the U.K.'s withdrawal from the European Union.
"The market overwhelmingly believe we will get a Tory majority of sufficient size to take away any concern about their ability to pass withdrawal legislation," Mr. Athey said.
The pound edged down marginally against both the dollar and the euro.
Write to Avantika Chilkoti at Avantika.Chilkoti@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 06, 2019 05:14 ET (10:14 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.